Port Burwell, Nunavut

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Transporting supplies to the HBC post at Port Burwell, 1919

Port Burwell is a harbour on western Killiniq Island, formed as an arm of Ungava Bay, at the mouth of Hudson Strait.[1][2] Previously within Labrador,[3] and then the Northwest Territories,[4] it is now situated within the borders of Nunavut, Canada. Cape Chidley is 25 mi (40 km) to the northeast.


Going ashore at Port Burwell, July 1923

A Dominion Government Meteorological Station was established at Port Burwell during an 1884 voyage led by Commander Andrew R. Gordon, R.N., a retired Naval Officer, and assistant director of the Dominion Meteorological Service.[5] Gordon named it in honor of one of the expedition's meteorological observers, Herbert M. Burwell of London, Ontario.[6] Burwell was left in charge of Observing Station No. 1 in the port's harbour on the western side of Gray Strait until it closed in 1886.

Gordon returned to Port Burwell with a Hudson's Bay Company expedition in 1885 on the Alert,[7] and established an HBC trading post within the harbour.[8] In 1904, Moravian missionaries established a mission and trading post at the northwest corner of the harbour.[9] Twelve years later, the HBC moved one of their trading posts to the northeast area of the harbour.[9]

In the 1920s, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment was set up at Port Burwell. The Royal Corps of Signals (RCCS) built a radio station, and the Coast Guard built a base.[10]

The settlement of Killiniq grew around the port. In 1978, all the residents were re-settled from the deep port community[11] to host communities of Nunavik.


  1. ^ Robertson, Gordon (2000). Memoirs of a very civil servant: Mackenzie King to Pierre Trudeau. University of Toronto Press. p. 178. ISBN 0-8020-4445-X. 
  2. ^ Shelagh, Shelagh Grant (2005). Arctic Justice: On Trial For Murder, Pond Inlet, 1923. McGill-Queen's Press. p. 224. ISBN 0-7735-2929-2. 
  3. ^ Brethren (1905), pp. 478
  4. ^ Canada. Parliament. House of Commons. Standing Committee on Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Parliament, House of Commons, Canada. Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence: Procès-verbaux Et Témoignages (Digitized Sep 15, 2008 ed.). Queen's Printer. p. 1. 
  5. ^ de Trémaudan, Auguste Henri (1916). The Hudson Bay Road (1498-1915) (Digitized: Jul 10, 2008 ed.). Dutton. p. 53. 
  6. ^ Report of the Hudson's Bay under the Command of Lieut. A. R. Gordon, R.N , 1884. Toronto: Meteorological Office. 1884. 
  7. ^ "A Hudson's Bay Expedition" (PDF). The New York Times. May 21, 1885. Retrieved 2009-07-19. 
  8. ^ Low, Albert Peter (1906). Report on the dominion government expedition to Hudson Bay and the Arctic Islands on board the D.G.S. Neptune 1903-1904. Canada. Dept. of Marine and Fisheries (Digitized Aug 11, 2006 ed.). Govt. Print. Bureau. p. 7. 
  9. ^ a b Gray, David H. (January 2005). "Grenfell and the Labrador Coast" (PDF). The Northern Mariner. cnrs-scrn.org. XV (1): 16. 
  10. ^ "Port Burwell, Labrador Assorted Detail - 1920-1929". pinetreeline.org. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  11. ^ "4.7. Port Burwell". ualberta.ca. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 

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Coordinates: 60°25′00″N 64°49′00″W / 60.4167°N 64.8167°W / 60.4167; -64.8167 (Port Burwell)